Everyone seems to be going green these days. Presidents, movie stars, and Fortune 500 companies have all jumped on the bandwagon to promote the slogan, leading to an increase in things like recycling, electric cars, and prestigious awards for companies who can be the least wasteful. While going green might be primarily touted as a way to save the planet for future generations, there are ways you can save big right now by using energy-efficient techniques in your own home.
There are many things in a home that may be wasting energy, which drives up your electric bills. As the economy is still a little rocky, people often compensate for these high bills by letting the exhausting heat of summer or the bitter cold of winter take over their homes. Instead of suffering through extreme temperatures, get around them by making your home more energy, and cost, efficient.
The first step is to determine what changes can be made to your home to make it more energy efficient. There are two options to choose from. The first is to hire an energy consultant to review your home and make some suggestions. This can be very beneficial, as people in the field will know a great deal more about things that may never occur to you to review. The more changes that you can find to improve, the more benefit you will enjoy in the long run. For those who are making changes on a strict budget, hiring a consultant can become pretty pricey. There are things you can look for on your own that will make a big difference in making your home more energy efficient without any outside help.
The first step to making your home more energy efficient is to review the appliances. Older appliances were not built as efficiently as newer models. The basic standard for your refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers and air conditioning units is 20 years. If your appliances are any older, it is almost a guarantee that they are using up huge amounts of energy. While replacing these items is a costly endeavor, it is an investment that over the years will return the money spent in the amount you will save.
Another step in this process is to look over the insulation in your home. Check to make sure the caulking on the windows is not cracked or peeling off. If you windows are not double paned, you might consider investing in some solar window screens. There are several varieties that you can buy for inexpensive through your energy audit company. You should also consider checking the insulation in your attic. With a tape measure, you can measure the insulation yourself. If you find any less than four inches, consider acquiring some more to protect your home from the hot or cold outside air.
At the end of this process, not only will your home be more comfortable, but you can also enjoy the knowledge that improving your home will indeed help save the planet by significantly decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.